WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – When the Rams begin preparing for their 2024 regular season opponents, they will be doing so with their practice facility in a new location.
The franchise on Tuesday announced it would be moving its practice headquarters to Woodland Hills ahead of the 2024 season, with construction work beginning later this week.
"It is nice (to be able to officially make the announcement," Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff said after a celebratory ceremony held at the Topanga Village indoor-outdoor mall, which will be adjacent to the team's Woodland Hills site. "You heard all these whispers, people in Woodland Hills saying, 'Oh, I hear the Rams might be coming, who's buying the Promenade?' And then it's, oh, the Anthem building is for sale and maybe you're buying that, and then we were able to buy the Village. So it is nice to be able to stand up here and say we're officially coming in 2024, that we do own these 100 acres."
Demoff said the organization would love to have the temporary practice facility at the Woodland Hills site built by the time the offseason program starts, with the drop-dead date for that move being when the team returns from training camp.
In terms of that temporary setup, Demoff said they're not going to move anything "except the people," meaning that rather than move the temporary buildings from Thousand Oaks down the road to Woodland Hills, the Rams will be taking new temporary buildings and assembling something similar to what they currently have at California Lutheran University. According to the press release, that the temporary setup will include "modular trailers that will include office space and meeting rooms for coaches, players, scouts and staff, a weight room and training room, locker room, media room, and meal room," with two practice fields adjacent to those trailers.
Grass for the practice fields is in the process of being grown.
"We're gonna go build that new on one side of the practice fields," Demoff said. "The grass fields we put in will be permanent, so those will be where the permanent fields will go. We're going to put the temporary facility on the west side of the fields, and ultimately the plan is to build a permanent facility on the north side of the fields, so that way we'll be able to be at the practice facility while we go build a new permanent facility. Otherwise, it just seemed like there was no reason to announce you were coming to Woodland Hills and actually moving to Woodland Hills."
Demoff added that the goal is to move the organization's Agoura Hills business office somewhere in Warner Center in the "near future," and then combine the football and business offices when the new permanent facility opens for training camp.
When the business and football sides become located closer to one another, Demoff said it will able to give the business side more opportunity to interact with leaders on the football side.
"I think it will be a great experience for them," Demoff said. "When you sign up to join a sports team, you want to feel and be part of the team, and we haven't had that point of connection except on gamedays, except at training camp. It will be amazing for our staff, and I think certainly for all of us to be in one place, to have that truly be the heartbeat (of the organization)."
When it comes to training camp plans, Demoff said as of right now camp will not be headquartered in Woodland Hills.
"Our vision has always been, and not just because it would be a little hot to hold training camp here in Woodland Hills, but we've always liked the idea of going away a little bit for training camp," Demoff said. "UC Irvine's been a great partner. We've looked in and around other places within Southern California. When we started at UC Irvine, it was always with the idea of being in Orange County, with the idea to move it, so we're going to explore that moving forward, but it is not our current plan to hold training camp here. That could change at some point, but we would probably need an indoor facility, or certainly some shade, to make that happen."
An indoor facility is "certainly one of the things we're looking at on the map," according to Demoff.
"The truth is, in California, you don't need an indoor facility, but it would always be great to build one," Demoff said. "If we built an indoor facility, you'd be looking at, how could you use it for community uses as well? Do you do something like The Star (the Cowboys' facility in Frisco, Texas) where you're playing high school games or other events in it? Are you using it just for a practice facility? Those are all things that we're really working to look at now. No promises, but (head coach) Sean (McVay) has always wanted an indoor practice facility. But getting out of the wind I know is the first step for him. I know he's excited about that."